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Anyone else got a plan a and plan b trip? (1 Viewer)

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I think you've got a good chance with North Uist. In the days when I still tried to make a living out of birds, I had a great couple of months surveying waders up there. Very pleasant.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
I'm not going to plan anything major this year, but a couple of day/weekend trips might be on the cards.

First up is I'd like to visit the Isle of May on the east coast, and Ailsa Craig on the west coast. I don't want to go a second year without seeing any seabirds (other than our city-dwelling gulls).

Maybe later in the year I might visit Dumfriesshire to see some of the wintering geese.
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Plan A has already been cancelled - East Lothian at the end of March, around my partner's birthday. She's going to have the distinction of having had two 'lockdown birthdays', albeit starting to ease by then in terms of seeing people.
So we now have May and June provisional trips planned, too late for potential velvet / surf scoter but with the possibility of trips to the Forth islands if any sort of boat trip is allowed of course. And hopefully able to visit my son in Midlothian, who I only saw twice last year....
In terms of more ambitious trips, we'll have to see later in the year; I suspect any overseas trips are going to be last-minute in nature, dependent on a combination of flight availability, open borders in both directions, and an open country with basic amenities like hotels and restaurants at the destination.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Booked the Shetland ferry for the end of September. I'm assuming it will be on by then: I know from experience its easy to leave booking that too late and end up not on the day you want. Sometimes you have to take a punt.

John
 

Euan Buchan

The Edinburgh Birdwatcher
Supporter
Scotland
I don't think I'll be on a plane this year which doesn't bother me however have booked a ferry for Benbecula & The Uists for late June as my cousin is getting married.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I think I'm going to have to wait until the new year when the wife takes our ankle biter to Russia for a few weeks.
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I'm not sure for things are much clearer for those of us wanting to go abroad. Africa is possibly looking the worst continent to want to visit. I suspect Europe/other affluent areas are probably a reasonable bet.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Africa is possibly looking the worst continent to want to visit.

For non-UK based birders in particular, some parts of Africa are absolutely looking fine - I have been in Namibia for 4 months now and it is simply fantastic ...top class birds, mammals and butterflies, all areas open and all hotels, lodges and reserves operating as usual, straightforward entry requirements, low covid rates in the country, minimal covid restrictions and the added bonus of very few international tourists.

Agreed for the UK based birder, the quarantine requirements and costs on return to the UK are a major disincentive, but for many folk elsewhere this is a non-issue - when I return to Lithuania, I have to isolate for ten days at a place of my choice and have to take a free covid test
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
For non-UK based birders in particular, some parts of Africa are absolutely looking fine - I have been in Namibia for 4 months now and it is simply fantastic ...top class birds, mammals and butterflies, all areas open and all hotels, lodges and reserves operating as usual, straightforward entry requirements, low covid rates in the country, minimal covid restrictions and the added bonus of very few international tourists.

Agreed for the UK based birder, the quarantine requirements and costs on return to the UK are a major disincentive, but for many folk elsewhere this is a non-issue - when I return to Lithuania, I have to isolate for ten days at a place of my choice and have to take a free covid test
Plus a negative test to be done three days before coming home, not sure that's easily done in Spitzkoppe.

As for the free test on arrival home, I don't see why any state should foot the bill for that, if someone wants entry, they should pay?
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
If you're thinking about visiting Scotland, these are the relevant points in the Scottish Government's latest document (PDF) published today and it applies to the situation right now.

Measures to reduce importation of the virus. Key actions:

We are:
  • prohibiting non-essential international travel to and from all areas of Scotland.
  • making it a requirement for passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area (the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) (CTA) to have a valid negative COVID-19 test result before they travel, and they must self-isolate for ten days on their arrival, during which time they must take two further tests.
  • making it a requirement for all direct international arrivals to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area or those arriving from the Republic of Ireland if they have been in or passed through a red list country in the last 10 days to go into managed isolation for 10 days on arrival in Scotland.
  • continuing to work with the UK Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and to press for a comprehensive pan-UK approach to managed isolation.
  • keeping international travel restrictions under review and will consider further measures necessary to protect public health.
  • committed to working on a four nation basis as part of wider international consideration of ways to assist the recovery of international travel, consistent with WHO advice, not as a replacement for managed isolation but as a means by which elements of international travel might be safely opened up.
  • restricting travel within Scotland and to and from other parts of the UK and the wider CTA to limit transmission of the virus and opportunities for any new variants to spread.
The whole of the Scottish mainland is currently in "Level 4" and there are plans for some staged easing over a minimum of the next nine weeks across the whole country. After this we could move to a regional easing, based on the situation in each part of the country. So we're talking late April at the earliest before travel restrictions may start to be eased. Page 14 of the document shows the steps to get to this regional approach.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
Plus a negative test to be done three days before coming home, not sure that's easily done in Spitzkoppe.

As for the free test on arrival home, I don't see why any state should foot the bill for that, if someone wants entry, they should pay?
No negative test is required before coming home, simply register online and they schedule a test in the 24 hours after arriving back (but for anyone needing a test before departing Namibia, it is easily arranged in Windhoek)

Test is free for all returning citizens and residents to Lithuania, we pay taxes. I however would have no issue paying for the test if that was required - price is not the same as in the UK :)
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I'd be happy to pay for a test. Not keen on being shoved in a hotel for 10 days though. Even without the cost, it's not an option.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
No negative test is required before coming home, simply register online and they schedule a test in the 24 hours after arriving back (but for anyone needing a test before departing Namibia, it is easily arranged in Windhoek)

Test is free for all returning citizens and residents to Lithuania, we pay taxes. I however would have no issue paying for the test if that was required - price is not the same as in the UK :)
This still means altering your schedule to be in Windhoek on the appropriate day, from wherever you happen to be. I usually prepare as near to a circular circuit as is possible so three days from departure day, could see me quite some way off.

I can't see many Brits, going very far at all for quite some time, at least until the hotel quarantine thing is ended for UK residents which, probably won't be until late summer when everyone has had at least one of the two jabs.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
This still means altering your schedule to be in Windhoek on the appropriate day, from wherever you happen to be. I usually prepare as near to a circular circuit as is possible so three days from departure day, could see me quite some way off.
Well, travel in this era does need some flexibility
...many test centres do offer same day results *, so it wouldn't need to be three days in advance. Good birding and butterflies around Windhoek, so a day or two there no hardship. Can also do in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, etc

* I can add no details for Windhoek specifically as, as mentioned, I don't need a test anyhow.
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I enjoyed Namibia but it's not top of places to go back to - though don't get me wrong I'd rather be there now than here by a very long way, but there's a living to earn and a daughter to educate. Getting to Uganda to use my gorilla permits is not looking likely.

I know private clinics - where I presume you can get tests done - are pretty widespread in Namibia. I know this from having to get rabies jabs after my daughter was bitten.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
...there's a living to earn and a daughter to educate

I accept I am in a fortunate position, but thanks to Namibia's excellent infrastructure and the lockdown in Lithuania pushing work and school to remote, both of these are happening in my case, just in a considerably warmer and more pleasant land.
 

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